NEW BRITAIN – Acme Monaco drew excitement to the New Britain community back in 1969, as their parts were used in the Apollo 11 capsule.
Acme Monaco was founded as Acme Spring, Incorporated in 1947. When the company started, its focus was on manufacturing snap rings or retaining rings for ball bearings.
Rebecca Karabin-Ahern, Co-President of Acme Monaco, said that at that time, the company was led by her father and grandparents.
“One of our customers, New Hampshire Ball Bearings, we supplied them the retaining rings that went in with the bearings and that was used in Apollo and it was a component that was used in the guidance system of the craft,” Karabin-Ahern said. “It was really exciting for Acme back then because we had parts in Apollo. It was a really big deal to my grandparents Helen and John Karabin and my dad Michael Karabin.”
Today, Acme Monaco still manufactures its original product line, which has led the company to become more innovative and not afraid of challenges, Karabin-Ahern said.
“Back in 1969 to have parts used in NASA, it really made us realize our full potential of the company and what we could do, what we could accomplish together,” she added.
When the Apollo 11 landed, Acme Monaco employed fewer than 20 individuals.
The company now employs 245 individuals and it has opened facilities in Maine and Singapore.
Acme’s original product line is manufactured in New Britain as well as in the Maine plant.
“We sell these retaining rings all over the world for aerospace and a variety of industries,” Karabin-Ahern said.
Karabin-Ahern said that the last two years have been “a real growth spot for the company.”
One of the recent reasons for Acme’s growth is the business industry’s desire to have U.S. made products, Karabin-Ahern said.
The retaining rings are used in a wide variety of industries.
“They are used in everything, from dental drills to aerospace,” Karabin-Ahern said.
According to Karabin-Ahern, the fact that the company’s parts were used in Apollo has brought attention to its customers.
“We have a letter that hangs in our conference room, it was addressed to my grandfather, John Karabin and it’s from our customer telling us how our parts were used in Apollo, and so we hang this letter in our conference room so all of our visitors, all of our customers see it and it always generates a good conversation and some excitement,” Karabin-Ahern said. “We were told by our customer in 1969, ‘Accolades to Acme Spring for probably the greatest technical achievement of mankind.’”
According to a statement released by Gov. Ned Lamont’s office, other Connecticut companies also played a role in the moon landing.
On Monday, Lamont and Senator Richard Blumenthal toured Air-Lock, a Milford based company that manufactured the facemasks used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 moon mission.
To learn more about Acme Monaco, call 860-224-1349 or visit www.acmemonaco.com .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.